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The Pesky State Surplus That Won't Go Away

In an editorial today, the Richmond Times-Displatch writes, "Delegate Kirk Cox showed typical bluntness in his reaction to news that Virginia has a surplus of $324 million -- before new state taxes take effect. Speaking of Finance Secretary John Bennett, who is universally respected for his facility with numbers, Cox noted Bennett, "who recently won an award, missed [revenue] prediction by 42 or 45 percent. It's either incompetence or they misled us." Harsh words by Delegate Cox (R)? Afterall, Finance Secretary Bennett works for Governor Mark Warner (D). The editorial admits the words may be harsh, but then says, "Budget predictions should be conservative, but not so conservative that they veer off course. And there is the fact that anticipated budget growth above a certain point would have triggered the next step in the car-tax cut, before the Assembly froze the rollback at the current level." Seems Virginia taxpayers are owed an honest explanation.

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